The Atlanta Braves were a postseason staple in the 1990s. This most often ended in frustration for loyal fans.
But in 1995, the Atlanta Braves finally won it all. The win was cathartic for those of us who remember Ted Turner sitting in the Braves' dugout.
Here is a look back at what made that series so special to me:
How It happened
The Atlanta Braves faced the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 World Series. The two evenly-matched teams played in some thrilling games with the Braves winning 4-2. In Game 5, the Braves almost pulled off a ninth-inning rally that would have clinched the title in Cleveland. The Braves fell one run short, and the series shifted back to Atlanta. The Braves clinched the series in a nail-biter Game 6. Tom Glavine pitched a complete-game shutout to bring Atlanta its first championship ever.
In 1995, the Atlanta Braves shifted a young shortstop to third base. A rookie named Chipper Jones quickly became my favorite position player on the team. While Jones didn't exactly set the world on fire with his .286 batting average, that World Series will always be tied to the Braves' legendary third baseman.
The Big 3
The Braves' starting pitching had three of the greatest pitchers of all time. Greg Maddux was a surgeon and made ball placement an art. Like Maddux, Glavine lived on the edge of the plate. Glavine was in the zone during the 1995 World Series and earned MVP honors. John Smoltz rounded out the trio. Smoltz's intensity and speed served as an excellent change of pace to Maddux and Glavine.
Justice Is served
The most defining moment came just before Game 6 when Braves outfielder David Justice called out the Atlanta fans. Justice called out fans who could not make it to the World Series games. Justice commented that the Cleveland fans were into every second of the game, and Braves fans had grown lackadaisical. Justice was crucified on Atlanta talk radio. But it worked. Fans filled the stands and were enthusiastic until the final pitch.
Justice paid the fans back by hitting a solo shot in the sixth inning. It would be the only run scored in the World Series clincher.
Christopher Beheler is a Georgia Native and lifelong Atlanta Braves fan.